Menu
Uber driver deemed employee by California Labor Commission

Uber driver deemed employee by California Labor Commission

The decision is a further challenge to Uber's business model

In a decision that could have major implications for the way Uber does business in its home state, the California Labor Commission has ruled that a driver was an employee when she was driving for the company.

Uber has always claimed that its drivers are contractors, a classification that means Uber doesn't have to provide them multiple employment benefits, but the ruling challenges that assertion.

The decision was reached earlier this month by the labor board after a hearing on a dispute between a former Uber driver, Barbara Berwick, and Uber. Berwick had sued Uber, claiming she was owed unpaid wages, car expenses and interest.

The decision became public on Tuesday when it was filed with the state court in San Francisco. It was first reported on Wednesday by Reuters.

"Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation," the California Labor Commission wrote in its finding. "The reality, however, is that defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation."

It said that Uber vets drivers and approves them, controls the cars they drive, monitors their ratings, manages their access to the Uber app, and controls the amount of money they can earn by setting rates.

Therefore, the labor commission ruled, the driver was an employee of Uber.

As a result, the court ordered Uber to pay the driver for the miles she drove as an employee, at the Internal Revenue Service auto reimbursement rate of 55 cents per mile. It also ordered Uber to pay the road toll charges she incurred while working for Uber.

With additional interest, Uber was ordered to pay $4,152.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags regulationinternetInternet-based applications and servicesUber

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments